President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to meet Friday, July 7th, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Both Kremlin and white house have confirmed the meeting.
The meeting comes amid ongoing tensions between the two countries stemming from Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, its annexation of Ukrainian territory and its support of the Syrian regime.
The Trump White House has been debating their approach to the eventual meeting between the leaders as Mr. Trump expressed he was “eager” to meet with Putin “with full diplomatic bells and whistles,” creating division among many administration officials on how to best approach Moscow.
While the two have spoken over the phone since Mr. Trump has taken office, this will be the leaders first face-to-face meeting amid continuing speculation over Trump campaign associates’ ties to the Russian government, and ongoing probes into Russian meddling into the 2016 election.
The bilateral meeting format, one that typically includes a handshake and brief public remarks exchanged between the two leaders will make the first meeting between the two leaders.
National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton also confirmed that the two leaders will sit down together Friday for a bilateral meeting.
It is widely believed that Trump plans to focus heavily on the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.